Diminished Cortical Thickness is Associated with Impulsive Choice in Adolescence.

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TitleDiminished Cortical Thickness is Associated with Impulsive Choice in Adolescence.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsPehlivanova, M, Wolf, DH, Sotiras, A, Kaczkurkin, A, Moore, TM, Ciric, R, Cook, PA, de La Garza, AGarcia, Rosen, A, Ruparel, K, Sharma, A, Shinohara, RT, Roalf, DR, Gur, RC, Davatzikos, C, Gur, RE, Kable, JW, Satterthwaite, TD
JournalJ Neurosci
Date Published2018 Feb 12
ISSN1529-2401
Abstract

Adolescence is characterized by both maturation of brain structure and increased risk of negative outcomes from behaviors associated with impulsive decision-making. One important index of impulsive choice is delay discounting (DD), which measures the tendency to prefer smaller rewards available soon over larger rewards delivered after a delay. However, it remains largely unknown how individual differences in structural brain development may be associated with impulsive choice during adolescence. Leveraging a unique large sample of 427 human youths (208 males and 219 females) imaged as part of the Philadelphia Neurodevelopmental Cohort, we examined associations between delay discounting and cortical thickness within structural covariance networks. These structural networks were derived using non-negative matrix factorization, an advanced multivariate technique for dimensionality reduction, and analyzed using generalized additive models with penalized splines to capture both linear and nonlinear developmental effects. We found that impulsive choice, as measured by greater discounting, was most strongly associated with diminished cortical thickness in structural brain networks that encompassed the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, orbitofrontal cortex, temporal pole, and temporoparietal junction. Furthermore, structural brain networks predicted DD above and beyond cognitive performance. Taken together, these results suggest that reduced cortical thickness in regions known to be involved in value-based decision-making is a marker of impulsive choice during the critical period of adolescence. Risky behaviors during adolescence, such as initiation of substance use or reckless driving, are a major source of morbidity and mortality. In this study, we present evidence from a large sample of youths that diminished cortical thickness in specific structural brain networks is associated with impulsive choice. Notably, the strongest association between impulsive choice and brain structure was seen in regions implicated in value-based decision-making; namely, the ventromedial prefrontal and orbitofrontal cortices. Moving forward, such neuroanatomical markers of impulsivity may aid in the development of personalized interventions targeted to reduce risk of negative outcomes resulting from impulsivity during adolescence.

DOI10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2200-17.2018
Alternate JournalJ. Neurosci.
PubMed ID29440536
PubMed Central IDPMC5858592
Grant ListU24 RR021382 / RR / NCRR NIH HHS / United States
P50 MH096891 / MH / NIMH NIH HHS / United States
R01 MH107235 / MH / NIMH NIH HHS / United States
R01 DA029149 / DA / NIDA NIH HHS / United States
P01 AG003991 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
P50 AG005681 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
R01 MH101111 / MH / NIMH NIH HHS / United States
RC2 MH089924 / MH / NIMH NIH HHS / United States
K01 MH102609 / MH / NIMH NIH HHS / United States
R01 AG014971 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
RF1 AG054409 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
R01 AG021910 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
R01 NS085211 / NS / NINDS NIH HHS / United States
P50 MH071616 / MH / NIMH NIH HHS / United States
R01 MH107703 / MH / NIMH NIH HHS / United States
RC2 MH089983 / MH / NIMH NIH HHS / United States
R01 MH098899 / MH / NIMH NIH HHS / United States